Welcome to History

Congratulations on securing your place at the School of History. We look forward to meeting you in person in September. This page will outline what to expect from induction week and things you can look forward to during your time at Leeds. Find out more about starting your studies on our School of History welcome page.

Induction Week

During induction week, you will:

  • Meet key academics, including your personal tutor

  • Have the opportunity to meet as many fellow History students as possible to help you settle in

  • Have time to peruse the Leeds University Union's Freshers' Fair, where you can sample and join a whole host of societies

Independent Learning

In the School of History, we take pride in the way our students evolve from ‘pupils’ to ‘independent scholars’ during their degree. This is not a process that happens quickly, and you will be given guidance and training throughout, but this is one of the most important transitions that you will make.

By ‘independent learning’ we certainly don’t just mean ‘working on your own’. Instead, we encourage you to think about the way that you work, and how you can move to undertaking your own research. Being an independent learner means taking the initiative in relation to the tuition and guidance you get, seeking out resources that interest you, and finding ways of working, both individually and collaboratively, which allow you to explore your passions within the subject.

During the first year, we provide a foundation for your independent learning by:

  • Teaching you new techniques of primary and secondary source analysis
  • Introducing you to the rich resources, collections and online databases in the University Library. Visit the History Library page for more information.
  • Providing you with frameworks for your independent research, including detailed reading lists, carefully designed Minerva areas for each module, school research seminars and collaborative discussion forums, all of which will enrich your individual scholarship.

By the end of your degree, you will have produced an original piece of independent scholarship, your Final Year Project, which you will have designed, researched, written and edited, with the support of your supervisor.

Research-led teaching

As a student, you will experience research-led teaching in three forms:

  1. In most modules there is a direct link to research being undertaken by the tutor that informs the problems being set and the awareness of the key research debates in that area. The tutor’s research provides cutting-edge understanding of the scholarly literature that you will be asked to consult. Teaching may also be based in rare primary sources used by the tutor in their own work, and therefore you will gain precious access to those sources and the tutor’s interpretations of them.
  2. Even where a module does not link directly to the tutor’s research, the experience of being actively engaged in research shapes the way that the lecturer sees historical problems. This might be more accurately described as ‘teaching in an atmosphere of research’ (Lord Boyle, former VC).
  3. Enquiry-based learning plays a significant role in the School’s research-led teaching; we pass on and train you in research methods as well as allowing research to inform teaching. All final year students (both single and joint honours) take an extended project of some kind, either a dissertation or long essay, where you get the chance to fully utilise the research techniques you have learnt.

Enhancing your degree

At Leeds, we want to give you the best grounding for the things you’re going to go on to do in life. We run a variety of employability events throughout the year for students at all levels, and there are lots of opportunities for you to do things alongside your main degree that will be interesting and fun, as well as making you stand out to potential employers.